Paso Partners - Integrating Mathematics, Science, and Language: An Instructional Program Purchase a print copy of Paso Partners
Introduction Grade K Lessons Grade 1 Lessons Grade 2 Lessons Grade 3 Lessons Bibliography
Table of Contents
Lesson Overview
Teacher Background Information
Lesson Focus
Objective Grid
Lesson 1: Spiders! Scary or Nice?
-Like or Not Like
-Spider Vivarium
Lesson 2: Spiders Have Special Characteristics
Lesson 3: Spiders Catch Prey
Lesson 4: The Spider's Life Cycle
Lesson 5: Spiders Have Natural Enemies
Lesson 6: Spiders Live Everywhere
Lesson 7: Now We Know Spiders!
Spanish Language Translations

Spiders - Lesson I: Spiders! Scary or Nice?
ACTIVITY: Spider Vivarium

Objective Students study spiders by observing them in a "close to natural" state; they describe the spiders' physical features and their eating, mating, and reproducing behavior, if possible from observations.


Soil; aquarium tank or very large jar (one gallon); small wet sponge; leaves, rocks, branch; cheesecloth and tape; flashlight; plastic container or net (for catching spiders and insects)


  1. Place soil in the bottom of an aquarium tank and cover it with a few leaves, rocks and a large branch. Place a small wet sponge in the tank for moisture.
  2. Go on a spider hunt. Be sure to capture your spiders (five or six) with a net or plastic container so that you do not hurt them.
  3. Place the spiders in your tank. Cover the tank with cheesecloth. Tape the cover in place. Place water on the sponge periodically.
  4. Have children observe the spiders over several days. Do they move around much? Do they eat leaves? If you are lucky, the spiders will spin a web on a branch.
  5. Add a live insect to the tank and watch what happens.
  6. Students begin and maintain a list of substances and animals that spiders eat.
  7. Do spiders sense light (darken room and then use a flashlight). Do they like light?
  8. Do spiders sense noise?
  9. List other ways students have tried to stimulate the spiders to get a response.
Copyright ©2015 SEDL
About SEDL | Contact SEDL | Terms of Use